Today, New York Yankees' pitcher C.C. Sabathia tries to continue a regular-season, unbeaten streak at home, which is at 19 games (14-0, 2.27 ERA), and place a stamp on my dominating week in fantasy—currently up 9-1 in my head-to-head league-against visiting Seattle, which counters with Luke French.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
This is the rubber match of the three-game series; Seattle won, 6-0, Friday but lost, 9-5, Saturday.
New York has the major's best record, 76-47, and leads the AL East by a full game over the Tampa Bay Rays (75-48). The Rays play at the Oakland Athletics starting at 2:05 pm, (The Rays won, 3-2.)
1st inning: Michael Kay and Ken Singelton started today's broadcast by listing Sabathia's win-loss record in the month of August.
In his career, Sabathia is 36-10 and with the Yankees he's 8-1 in 10 starts. The guy is just a monster late in the season.
I always think back to 2008, when he was traded from the Cleveland Indians to Milwaukee Brewers and posted a 1.65 ERA in 130.2 innings.
In the final nine games of the season, Sabathia allowed just two earned runs in three starts (21.2 innings pitched).
That performance allowed the Brewers to capture the NL Wild Card and knocked out the New York Mets from the playoffs.
Because of that, my fiance, Kate, and I were able to witness the final game at Shea Stadium. I was rooting against the Mets so hard that day. I just wanted to witness history.
Top half: Sabathia cruises as no batter reached base.
Bottom half: Derek Jeter extended his hit streak to four games with a lead-off single, outfielder Nick Swisher grounded into a double play, Mark Teixeira walked but Robinson Cano struck out swinging.
0-0 after one.
2nd inning: Still 0-0.
Top half: Sabathia did not allow a batter to reach base, again.
Seattle's hitting has been terrible this season.
Coming into the game, the Mariners' ranked last in the AL in runs (408), average (.238), OBP (.303) and SLUG (.345).
On the flip side, Seattle's pitching has been decent this year with a 3.93 ERA (ranked fourth in the AL).
Breaking news as YES play-by-play announcer, Kay, says Cubs' manager Lou Piniella will retire after today's game against the visiting Atlanta Braves—the link is to the Chicago Sun Times article by Toni Ginnetti.
Kay said Piniella, who originally said he'd retire at the end of the season, wants to be with his sick mother.
I like Piniella, always have. I think he knows how to manage players, except Carlos Zambrano, but it didn't work out with Chicago because of bad management moves.
Mr. Piniella you will be missed!
Bottom half: Yanks load the bases but Jeter popped out to right field for the final out.
3rd inning: 0-0, Kotchman's errorless streak ends.
In the top of the third inning, Teixeira makes an error to begin the inning but no harm done as Sabathia goes 1-2-3 the rest of the way.
During this half, Kay and Singelton were discussing Mariners' first baseman, Casey Kotchman, making an error in yesterday's game.
Well, Kotchman had not made an error in 274 games, a major league record for a first baseman.
I watched the play yesterday and think it was a tough play for Kotchman but he didn't position himself right. If he didn't slide his body away from the ball and had knocked it down—which is extremely hard to do on a liner because your body says, MOVE AWAY—he would have been able to get the runner out.
I agree with the official scorer and not with Kay and Singelton who believe it should've been a hit.
Bottom half: Teixeira hit a one-out single but Cano hits into a double play to end the inning.
So far, the Yankees have left five men on base.
Top of the inning: Sabathia strikes out Chone Figgins to lead off the inning.
Last season, Figgins hit .298 with a .395 OBP and scored 114 runs for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
This season, Figgins has been a huge disappointment after signing a nice off-season contract with Seattle.
Entering today's game, Figgins has hit only .247, with an .337 OBP and scored just 49 runs. That's not good enough considering his making $8.5 million this year.
Sabathia continues his dominance by striking out Russell Branyan and getting Jose Lopez to ground out to Jeter.
Still no hits for the Mariners.
Bottom half: Kearns hit his first Yankee homer, second of the season, with two outs and gives the Yanks a 1-0 lead.
During the off season, Kearns signed with the Cleveland Indians and was acquired by the Yanks at the deadline via trade.
So far he's provided decent depth for a squad who likes to rest it older vets as the season goes a long.
5th inning: 5-0, Yanks after Cano hits a grand slam.
Top half: The Mariners ended Sabathia's no-hit bid as outfielder Franklin Gutierrez lead off with a double.
Things got exciting when Adam Moore hit a one-out single to Swisher, who fielded the ball and three a perfect strike to Posada, who tagged out Gutierrez at home plate.
Swisher's throw was right on target, the umpire called the runner out but replays showed that Posada had the ball in his bear hand, not in the glove which tagged Moore.
So, Moore should've been called safe.
The play ended up being huge, not because it's a one-run game, but it swung momentum and the rain is becoming pretty steady.
Mariners' Josh Wilson ended the half inning with a strike out.
Bottom half: The momentum from Swisher's defensive play carried into the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Jeter walked, Swisher singled, French intentionally-walked Teixeira then Cano bombed his 25th homer, tying a career high, to center. Yanks lead, 5-0.
On the season, Cano, currently, has driven in 84 RBI and is hitting .324 with a .561 SLUG.
Last season, Cano hit 25 homers. My guess is he'll surpass that mark by a lot.
The rain continues to fall, but harder.
6th inning: 8-0, Yanks; Rain delay, Vin Scully Returns for 62nd season, Cano six RBI.
Top half: Only Branyan collected a hit. Sabathia continues to dominate.
In the past two days, Branyan has blasted three homers, one of which hasn't landed.
This week, Branyan has smashed four homers, drove-in seven RBI and struck out six times-in the words of Al Davis, "Just swing, baby!" Too bad I haven't played him in my fantasy lineup.
Bottom half: According to Kay and Singelton, the umpires have called for the tarp as the rain has increasingly gotten worse.
So, play will stop.
GOOD NEWS! (Again, announced from Kay and Singelton).
The greatest play-by-play announcer ever, Vin Scully, will return next year!-the link is from USAToday.com.
Oh man, I love Scully.
When I was in college and I watched a lot of baseball during the day, I always loved Dodgers' games because of Scully; 1965 World Series Game 7, Opening Day 2009, Game-Winner By Mark Loretta and His Top 9 Moments after announcing he'd comeback for his 61st season.
The thing about Scully is he knows everything about everybody. It's amazing.
During one at bat he'll tell a whole life story about a Dodgers' call-up whom a fan has never heard of. You'll learn everything you need to know about a player during one at bat.
Hope you enjoy the links.
What's depressing about the rain delay is the game was moving at a great pace. Looks as if the game will be about three and a half hours long. (Official time was 3:38 which included a 57-minute delay.)
The delay also means Sabathia's night will end and the home-unbeaten streak increases to 20 straight games.
Sabathia's final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 BB and 8 Ks.
French's line: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 5 ER and K.
Bottom half: Cano came through, again, with the bases loaded hitting a two-out, two-run single to increase the Yanks' lead to 8-0. Cano has six RBI. According to Kay and, I'm sure, some research department the Yanks were hitting .421 as a team with the bases loaded.
Jeter made it 6-0 with a one-out, run-scoring sac fly after Brett Gardner induces a one-out walk and Eduardo Nunez followed with a double-a slow grounder past Kotchman that stopped in a puddle in left field, Ichiro couldn't reach the ball fast enough to stop Nunez.
Swisher and Teixeira walked to fill the bases.
7th inning: 9-0, Yanks; Posada hits 15th homer.
Top half: Yanks' reliever Kerry Wood begins the inning.
Kotchman induced a one-out walk but Moore hit into a 4-4-3-double play.
Bottom half: Posada led off the inning with a solo blast and increases the Yanks lead to 9-0.
I think it's time for this game to end. I am running out of material to share.
Three quick outs by Kearns, Gardner, Nunez and the inning ends.
8th inning: Yanks lead, 10-0; Ichrio's legacy.
Top half: Ichiro collected a two-out single and Figgins followed with a infield single but that was it.
After Ichiro hit his single, Kay and Singelton began talking about how good his career has been.
I'm interested to see how Ichiro goes down in history.
In the last decade, Suzuki probably has been the most constant outfielder. Check out his resume:
Suzuki burst into the majors in 2001 by appearing in his first of 10 straight All-Star games, earning Rookie of the Year and AL MVP honors. If he plays another five season, which is likely, he'll surpass 3,000 hits and may surpass 500 stolen bases (currently he has 372, 88th all time). Right now, he's a career .331 hitter and has won nine straight Gold Gloves, most likely 10 after this season. Those are easily Hall-of-Fame stats and puts him in the list of the greatest ever.
Also, while doing my pre-game research for today's blog, I came across an interesting stat about another future Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey Jr.
We all know that earlier this year Griffey retired after 22 season. Surprisingly, he DID NOT hit a homer in 33 games this year.
Just thought it was interesting for a guy who hit 630 homers (fifth all time).
Bottom half: Thames hit a two-out, run-scoring single and increased the Yanks' advantage to double digits, 10-0.
Romiro Pena began the rally with a two-out single, Cano then reached on an error by Figgins (14th of the year) before Thames lined to left field.
9th inning: 10-0, Yankees win and move to 30 games above .500.
Top half: Joba Chamberlin allowed just a lead-off double then closed the door on Seattle.
The Yankees take the three-game series by winning the final two.
Today's talking point is Sabathia who continues to dominate teams in August.
Right now, it's Sabathia and the Ray's David Price who are separating themselves in the AL Cy Young race.
Current stats: Sabathia is 17-5 with an 3.02 ERA; Price is 15-5 with a 2.97 ERA.
I give the slight edge to Price whose offense isn't as powerful as the Yankees. Also, day-in and day-out, Price needs to be the guy for the Rays. He's just carrying more pressure on his shoulders and delivering with better stats.
Not saying the Yanks don't need Sabathia to be a horse but they do have more resources than Tampa Bay.
If the Rays lose against the Athletics, today, they will fall two games behind New York. However, they still hold a firm grip on the AL Wild Card.
Please send me feed back on today's blog. Enjoy any comments.
Thanks for reading.
References go out to MLB.com writers Jim Street and Spencer Fordin for the pre-game notes, Baseball-Reference.com for player notes and analyst from the YES Broadcast crew, Michael Kay and Ken Singelton-I don't think it's right to steal without giving credit!.